Lt. Governor Stephen B.Pence's Communication Office
Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence and the Office of Drug Control Policy award $1.5 million to aid in the battle against drugs

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 28, 2005  
Contact Information:  Jeanne Lausche
Ryan Watts

Stacy Floden, ODCP

ODCP awarding money for Operation UNITE in Pike and Clay Counties

Frankfort, KY:  Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence and the Office of Drug Control Policy presented $1.5 million in coal severance funds through general fund appropriations to Operation UNITE today.  UNITE will divide the money equally between Clay and Pike Counties for construction of a treatment center in Manchester and operation of an existing treatment facility in Pikeville.

The funds will supplement the $1.5 million that U.S. Representative Hal Rogers secured in the federal budget for the treatment facilities.  Clay County/Chad’s Hope Center, which will soon be constructed, and Westcare in Pike County, are the recipients of the money.

“Getting drugs off the street is a critical component of our efforts, but to be truly successful we must also treat the people who become addicted to drugs,” said Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence.  “We have a significant shortage of drug treatment facilities across the state.  The money for these two centers is essential to help people overcome their addictions.”

Karen Engle, executive director of Operation UNITE, was on hand to accept the checks today. "I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Pence, ODCP, and the general assembly for this generous contribution to UNITE.  This money will allow us to not only target and remove the drugs from our communities, it will help us educate and treat others who are battling addictions."

“In one year UNITE has made tremendous progress in confronting the drug problem,” says Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director, Teresa Barton.  “Over 2,200 criminal cases have been opened and more than $4.5 million worth of drugs have been taken out of the communities.”

ODCP is the coordinator and clearinghouse for substance abuse programs and issues in Kentucky.  The mission of ODCP is to serve as a leader and catalyst for improving the health and safety of all Kentuckians by promoting strategic approaches and collaboration to reduce drug use and related crime.

Operation UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education, serves 29 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky.